[SOLVED] GPU not working properly after reapplying thermal paste

purelemomade

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Aug 22, 2017
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Hello! I recently reapplied the thermal paste for my GPU (Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme) and have noticed a multitude of problems since. Firstly, the fans on the card aren't spinning, well sort of and I'll say why in a second (even putting them on 100% in MSI Afterburner doesn't do anything.) Secondly, the card seemed to have severely underclocked itself from prior to the paste change (would run at around 2000 MHz and now runs around 1670 MHz. Changing in MSI Afterburner doesn't seem to be working) The fans also spin normally when first booting the PC but then stop. I also tried playing Minecraft (a game that's not GPU intensive) and it was really stuttery.

Something strange that happened though was that right after the paste application, I tried launching a stress test for like 2 minutes and the fan like started spinning at like 100% for like 3ish seconds before just shutting off again and the clocks restored themselves to that 2000 Mhz for that short period.

I don't think I did anything wrong. I unscrewed the PCB/backplate and unplugged the fan, removed the old thermal compound, replaced it with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (which is not electrically conductive so that can't be a problem,) and plugged the fan back in and reseated the heatsink on the PCB. The only thing I can think about is maybe I cleaned the die "too hard?" I did spend a good time trying to clean the old paste off and maybe scratched or damaged the die or one of the surrounding contacts but I somewhat doubt it (used paper towels and rubbing alcohol pads.)

I tried my old 1080 and it worked fine so I'm pretty certain the GPU is the problem. I haven't tried reinstalling drivers yet because it was late when I did the thermal paste application and wanted to sleep lol and I'm at work now but I'm going to try that when I get home.

Also would warranty still cover my card? I mean the card really looks like how it originally came; I haven't done anything to it aside from changing the paste.

If someone could help shed some light on this situation, I'd gladly appreciate it.

My PC specs:
GPU: Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme
CPU: i5-8600k @ 4.5 ghz
PSU: EVGA BQ 750w 80plus bronze
RAM: G. Skill Aegis 16gb @ 3000mhz
Mobo: MSI Z370 Gaming Plus
 

purelemomade

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Aug 22, 2017
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check tempretures... sounds like it overheats
Not overheating as far as I'm aware. The card idles at 35c even without the fans, I'm a bit concerned about stressing the card because the fans aren't working properly. I can't remember exactly (and I can't check right now but I will later) but I think the card utilization was also really low. Then again, I only tested Minecraft (and the temps were fine there too) so it may be expected but it doesn't really explain the stutter I was having
 

purelemomade

Prominent
Aug 22, 2017
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Well I guess I kinda jumped the gun on this one. So I think everythings fine. After some testing and research, I realized that this card has a feature called "fan stop" where the fans don't spin unless the the gpu reaches around 45c (even if you force them to spin through software.) After disabling the feature, I can manipulate the fans. I could've sworn this was not on before the paste installation but it's whatever. And the low frequency on the card was just because minecraft was not enough demanding of a game to make the gpu use all its strength (should've seen that one coming so thats my bad, though i dont remember the game being so stuttery) but I tested several other games and they all work fine with about a 8-10 degree reduction in temps! So everything is a success. I really should've done some more research before posting but admittedly I don't open my GPU's very often so I was pretty paranoid, but thanks for the response!
 

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